Sunday, December 26, 2010

PAPER DOLL by Robert B. Parker

Robert B. Parker's Paper Doll made me think of William Faulkner.  

Not that the book is a classic in the sense of Faulkner's classics.  Parker's book is just an entertainment.  But it is a good entertainment, and it includes some of Faulkner's themes.

When Olivia Nelson, the wife of a wealthy Bostonian, is hammered to death on the streets of Boston, her husband hires Spenser to find her killer.

The trail leads to her roots in South Carolina.  It also leads to the halls of power in Washington D.C.  In the South Carolina part of the story, the black underclass has dignity while the white upper class has fallen apart.

Lt. Quirk is the strong supporting character here.  We learn more about him, and we come to respect him all the more.  Hawk and Susan play minor parts in Paper Doll.

A discriminated-against gay cop named Lee Farrell shows the kind of courage which makes him a memorable character too.

Again, I admire Parker's writing.  He is among the most reliable of writers. He seldom disappoints.

I had forgotten how much Robert B. Parker does describe the setting.  I had come to think of him as writing pure dialog.  Maybe that was in the later books.

So Paper Doll is another good episode along the way.


Evan Lewis said...

I've read the Spenser books so many times they merge into one big life story. It's hard to remember what went on in each particular book. Is this the one with Jumper Jack and the hound dogs?

BV Lawson said...

Thanks for this, Joe. I've got another Spenser on my TBR pile, but I'm wondering if I should swap it with this one instead. Unless I can figure out a way to clone myself, that is.

Joe Barone said...

Evan, Jumper Jack, his house full of dogs, and his loyal Black houseman are in this book.

BV, What can I say? I'm rereading them in order (including some I'm sure I missed along the way). I thought this was one of the better ones of the ones I've read so far.